Nicolas Baudin bigraphy, stories - French explorer

Nicolas Baudin : biography

17 February 1754 - 16 September 1803

Nicolas-Thomas Baudin (17 February 1754 – 16 September 1803) was a French explorer, cartographer, naturalist and hydrographer.

Death

Baudin died at Mauritius in 1803 at the age of 49, his death caused by tuberculosis. Apparently, he died in the home of Madame Alexandrine Kerivel. Baudin's exact resting place is not known, but the historian Auguste Toussaint believed that Baudin was interred in the Kerivel family vault. However, the historian Edward Duyker likes to think that Baudin was buried in Le Cimitière de l’Ouest in the district of Port Louis "just a few hundred meters from the explorer’s certain love: the sea".Duyker, E. (1999) In Search of Madame Kerivel and Baudin’s Last Resting Place. National Library of Australia News, vol. IX, no. 12, September, pp. 8–10.

Biography

Baudin was born a commoner in Saint-Martin-de-Ré on the Île de Ré. At the age of fifteen he joined the merchant navy, and at twenty joined the French East India Company. He then joined the French navy and served in the Caribbean as an officer bleu during the American War of Independence.

In 1785 Baudin was captain of the Caroline taking Acadian settlers from Nantes to New Orleans.Carl A. Brasseaux, The Founding of New Acadia: The Beginnings of Acadian Life in Louisiana, 1765-1803, Baton Rouge, Louisiana State University Press, 1987, p109; William Dawson Gerrior, Acadian Awakenings: Louisiana, Port Royal Pub., 2003, pp.73, 104; Madeleine Ly-Tio-Fane, Le Géographe et le Naturaliste à l'île-de-France: ultime escale du capitaine Baudin, Port-Louis, Ile Maurice, 2003, p.33. In New Orleans he was contracted by local merchants to take a cargo of wood, salted meat, cod and flour to Isle de France (now Mauritius), which he did in the Josephine (also called Pepita), departing New Orleans on 14 July 1786 and arriving at Isle de France on 27 March 1787. In the course of the voyage, the Josephine had called at Cap Francais in Haiti to make a contract to transport slaves there from Madagascar; while there he also encountered the Austrian botanist Franz Josef Maerter, who apparently informed him that another Austrian botanist, Franz Boos, was at the Cape of Good Hope awaiting a ship to take him to Mauritius. The Josephine called at the Cape and took Boos on board.David K. Wetherbee, Further Contributions to the History of Zoology in Hispaniola, Shelburne, Massachusetts, 1987. At Mauritius, Boos chartered Baudin to transport him and the collection of plant specimens he had gathered there and at the Cape back to Europe, which Baudin did, the Josephine arriving at Trieste on 18 June 1788.Sébastien Brunner (ed.), Correspondances intimes de l'Empereur Joseph II avec son ami le comte de Cobenzl et son premier ministre le prince de Kaunitz, Mainz, Kirchheim, 1871, p.75. The Imperial government was contemplating organizing another natural history expedition, to which Boos would be appointed, in which two ships would be sent to the Malabar and Coromandel coasts of India, the Persian Gulf, Bengal, Ceylon, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Cochin China, Tongking, Japan and China. Baudin had been given reason to hope that he would be given command of the ships of this expedition.Madeleine Ly-Tio-Fane, Le Géographe et le Naturaliste à l'île-de-France 1801, 1803 : ultime escale du capitaine Baudin, Port-Louis, Ile Maurice, 2003, pp.50-51; Sébastien Brunner (ed.), Correspondances intimes de l'Empereur Joseph II avec son Ami le Comte de Cobenzl et son Premier Ministre le Prince de Kaunitz, Mainz, Kirchheim, 1871, p.75.

Austrian expeditions

Baudin subsequently in 1788 sailed on a commercial voyage from Trieste to Canton in the Jardiniere. He apparently arrived at Canton from Mauritius under the flag of the United States of America, probably to avoid the possibility of having his ship seized by the Chinese for payment of the debts owed them by the Imperial Asiatic Company of Trieste.Hosea Ballou Morse, The Chronicles of the East India Company Trading to China, 1635-1834, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1926, Vol.II, p.174. From there, he sent the Jardiniere under her second captain on a fur trading venture to the North West Coast of America, but the ship foundered off Asuncion Island in the Mariannas in late 1789.Madeleine Ly-Tio-Fane, “Contacts between Schönbrunn and the Jardin du Roi at Isle de France (Mauritius) in the 18th Century”, Mitteilungen des Oesterreichischen Staatsarchiv, No.35, 1982, pp.85-109, p.102; Frank Horner, The French reconnaissance: Baudin in Australia, 1801-1803, Melbourne University Press, 1987, p.26. Baudin made his way to Mauritius, where he purchased a replacement ship, the Jardiniere II, but this vessel was wrecked in a cyclone which struck Port Louis on 15 December 1789. Baudin embarked on the Spanish Royal Philippines Company ship, Placeres, which sailed from Port Louis for Cadiz in August 1790. The Placeres called at the Cape of Good Hope where the large number of plant and animal specimens collected in South Africa for the Imperial palace at Schönbrunn by Georg Scholl, the assistant of Franz Boos, was taken on board. Because of the poor condition of the ship, the voyage of the Placeres ended at the island of Trinidad, where Scholl's collection of specimens was deposited. Baudin proceeded to Martinique, from where he addressed an offer to the Imperial government in Vienna to conduct to Canton commissioners who would be empowered to negotiate with the Chinese merchants there a settlement of the debts incurred by the Imperial Asiatic Company, which would enable the company to renew its trade with China. On its return voyage from Canton, the proposed expedition would call at the Cape of Good Hope to pick up Scholl and the remainder of his natural history collection for conveyance to Schönbrunn. After returning to Vienna in September 1791, Baudin continued to press his case for an expedition under the Imperial flag to the Indian Ocean and China, and in January 1792 he was granted a commission of captain in the Imperial navy for this purpose. A ship, called the Jardiniere, was acquired and the botanists, Franz Bredemeyer and Joseph van der Schot, appointed to the expedition. After delays caused by the outbreak of war between France and Austria, the Jardiniere departed from the Spanish port of Malaga on 1 October 1792.Madeleine Ly-Tio-Fane, “Contacts between Schönbrunn and the Jardin du Roi at Isle de France (Mauritius) in the 18th Century”, Mitteilungen des Oesterreichischen Staatsarchiv, No.35, 1982, pp.85-109. From the Cape of Good Hope the Jardiniere sailed across the Indian Ocean to the coast of New Holland (Australia) but two consecutive cyclones prevented the expedition from doing any work there and forced Baudin to take the ship to Bombay for repairs. From Bombay, the expedition proceeded to the Persian Gulf, Red Sea and East Coast of Africa, where botanical and zoological collections were gathered. The expedition came to an abrupt end in June 1794 when the Jardiniere went aground in a storm while attempting to enter Table Bay at the Cape of Good Hope. Baudin survived the wreck and made his way to the United States, from whence he went to France.Madeleine Ly-Tio-Fane, “Contacts between Schönbrunn and the Jardin du Roi at Isle de France (Mauritius) in the 18th Century”, Mitteilungen des Oesterreichischen Staatsarchiv, No.35, 1982, pp.85-109, p.102; Frank Horner, The French reconnaissance: Baudin in Australia, 1801-1803, Melbourne University Press, 1987, p.28. He managed to send the Jardiniere's cargo of natural history specimens to the island of Trinidad.

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine